To rent or not to rent your house out for the inauguration: That’s been a hot topic among capital residents the last few weeks. It’s been all over my neighborhood listservs, and yesterday, at the Foggy Bottom Metro stop, guys with big signs were shilling for inauguralhomes.com, a website where Washingtonians can post their properties and out-of-towners can trawl for a place to stay. Craigslist is hopping with inaugural offers too, or so I hear.
Is the Howard household going to clear out for the inauguration and make a quick buck off our Capitol Hill rowhouse? It’s only a mile and a half from the Capitol–two Metro stops, a 20-minute walk–so there might be some takers.
The land-grab mentality makes me nervous, though, and it might be worth more to me in the long run to stick around and catch a piece of history. I trawled some of the listings on inauguralhomes.com last night, just to see what my fellow citizens think they can get for their manses, and was appalled by some of the numbers. Three thousand dollars a day for a house, even a nice one in Northwest? Fifteen hundred for a one-bedroom condo downtown? Come on. Some of these properties are miles away from any of the action.
Washingtonians: Don’t let greed get the better of you. This should be a chance to open the city to our fellow citizens, not make a killing off them. (Nothing wrong with a healthy profit, of course.)
Non-residents: If you’re coming to town for the big day–and I hope you are–and you want to rent a place, make sure you know what you’re getting for your money. Look hard at a DC map. Talk to somebody local if you can. Not all neighborhoods are equal–and very few are worth 3000 smackeroos a day.
Still, if you want to make me an offer….